06/20/2014 09:34 EDT | Updated 08/20/2014 05:59 EDT

Montreal's annual Car-Free Day cancelled

Montreal will no longer hold its annual Car-Free Day, the city’s metropolitan transit agency has announced via its blog dedicated to the event.

The AMT has held a Car-Free Day every September since 2003.

The AMT cited budget and staffing issues for the decision to cancel the event, which is held every year on or around World Car-Free Day on September 22.

Car-Free Day promotes the health and environmental benefits of reducing the number of cars in cities as well as improving mass transit, and infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists.

More than 2,000 cities around the world hold Car-Free Day events.

Montreal’s Car-Free Day saw a number of downtown streets closed to traffic and taken over by festivities, pedestrian-friendly activities and sporting events like road hockey tournaments.

Last year, Transport Quebec contributed to Car-Free Day by funding 75,000 public transit tickets to encourage motorists to take the train, bus or Metro instead of driving.

The AMT says the event “contributed to raising awareness about the negative effects of the misuse of cars on the quality of urban life and promoted public transit alternatives to driving solo.” 

In 2010, the AMT even tried to expand the event to a week of car-free activities.

The AMT said it will concentrate its efforts and resources on improving Montreal’s public transportation system.